Showdown Expected at Democratic Central Committee over Endorsement for Mayor

UPDATE: The DCC voted to advance its endorsement decision for mayor of San Jose to next month. More information to come.

The county’s Democratic Central Committee will vote tonight on whether to advance its endorsement process by a month, and the result could have a dramatic impact on the San Jose mayor’s race.

Sources within the DCC tell San Jose Inside that the labor wing of the party wants to change rules on when it can endorse—as of now it must occur after the filing deadline, which is March 12—so that mobilization steps can begin in support of county Supervisor Dave Cortese’s bid for mayor. If the change were approved, the DCC, which meets the first Thursday of every month, would then vote on giving an endorsement to a candidate at its Feb. 6 meeting. A candidate must receive 2/3 of the vote to get a sole endorsement,

Receiving such an endorsement brings a vast amount of financial and logistical support, similar to how Cindy Chavez used the DCC and South Bay Labor Council’s resources to run a coordinated county supervisor campaign based around member-to-member communications. Chavez, who received nearly $600,000 in direct spending and non-monetary contributions from the DCC during that race, defeated Teresa Alvarado to fill the seat previously held by George Shirakawa Jr., who is currently incarcerated in Santa Rita Jail.

Opponents to the proposed rule change, who spoke to San Jose Inside on the condition of anonymity, say improper notice was given to party members and the procedure for making the change is unclear.

“They want to be purposefully confusing so people don’t know what the hell is going on,” a source said.

DCC chair Steve Preminger rejected such an accusation, noting that the party discussed a change in when it endorses back at its December meeting. Instead of a bylaw change, he added, Thursday night’s vote will look at altering the DCC’s governing acts related to endorsements.

There are currently five Democrats in local elected office running for mayor of San Jose. They include Cortese and San Jose councilmembers Rose Herrera, Sam Liccardo, Madison Nguyen, and Pierluigi Oliverio. Councilman Pete Constant is also running but he is a Republican.

The race is expected to feature somewhere in the range of $5-10 million in total expenditures—by candidates and independent committees—for the primary and runoff.

UPDATE: The DCC voted to advance its endorsement decision for mayor of San Jose to next month. More information to come.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.

4 Comments

  1. A vote for any of Reeds cohorts is a vote for San Jose’s continued downward spiral , filled with many half truths,exaggerations and flat out lies. residents of San Jose should demand more from their leaders.

  2. “Screw” the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee. Their endorsement means absolutely nothing to the voters.

    David S. Wall